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Congratulations on going solar! Indeed, you’re not only saving money on energy bills, yet you’re helping build a more sustainable future as well.

Solar energy is clean, renewable, and increasingly affordable. But installing panels is just the first step. To really maximize your investment, there are key steps you can take to ensure your solar setup is operating at peak performance.

Now, the target is to make sure you squeeze every drop of sunshine from those solar panels. The following points will help you how to get the most bang for your solar buck. Read on to learn more.

Choose The Ideal Installation Spot For Your Solar

Solar experts agree that the solar panel’s installation spot plays a key role in its overall efficiency and efficacy. The following are points to keep in mind:

  • Unshaded northern exposure is best for maximum sunlight;
  • Avoid trees, buildings or other obstructions that block the sun;
  • Ensure your roof is sturdy and large enough to support panels;
  • North-facing angled roofs are optimal, but east or west can work too;
  • Ground mounts are an option if your roof isn’t suitable;
  • Consider future shading from tree growth or new buildings; and the like.

Keep Your Panels Clean

  • Did you know that dirt, leaves, snow, bird droppings, and other debris can reduce your solar panels’ power output? Thus, you need to remember the following:
  • Rinse panels with a hose or soft brush a few times a year;
  • For ground-mounted systems, regularly trim surrounding vegetation;
  • Consider professional cleaning for hard-to-reach rooftop panels;
  • Minimize dust and debris by strategically landscaping around ground mounts;
  • In snowy areas, use a soft snow brush to clear buildup on your solar panels; and others.

Optimize Your Energy Usage

Solar energy is a clean and reliable source of electricity. Bear in mind the tips below to optimize your electricity use:

  • Run major appliances like washing machines and dryers during sunny hours;
  • Program timers for electric water heaters, pool pumps, and so on to run at peak sunny hours;
  • Use energy efficiently with energy-saving appliances;
  • Get smart thermostats and smart power strips to automate savings;
  • Stagger use of oven, dryer and other energy hogs to align with solar production;
  • Educate family members on energy-smart practices to boost overall savings; and the like.

Monitor Your Solar System’s Performance

Being proactive is key when you’re a solar panel system user. To get the most out of your panels, do remember the following:

  • Regularly check your inverter display panel and online monitoring portal;
  • Note any sudden or gradual changes in output and investigate causes;
  • Compare your actual output to predicted levels for your geographic area;
  • If output seems low, visually inspect panels for soiling or damage; and others.

Get Your System Inspected Annually

Regular upkeep is believed to be helpful in keeping your solar system in top condition. Keep in mind the following:

  • Work with a certified solar technician to give your system an annual checkup;
  • Check for loose wiring, cracks, delamination, or burn marks on panels;
  • Test inverter and other electrical components for proper operation;
  • Verify actual output matches expected output based on original specs;
  • Address any safety hazards or code compliance issues the soonest;
  • Inspections may be required to maintain warranty and/or insurance coverage; and so on.

Stay Up To Date On The Finance Options To Support Solar Panel Ownership

Did you know that most New Zealand banks offer home loan top ups for solar panel owners to encourage higher overall solar energy use? Many of these loans have very low interest rates to help you warm your home with solar. 

You can visit our solar panel finance page and find out how you can apply for a top up with your bank or finance partner.

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Plan For The Long Haul

Going solar is a long-term investment and commitment. Henceforth, it’s best to be ready for the future. Do remember the following insights when readying yourself for the long-term commitment of being a solar system owner.

  • Quality solar panels typically last two to three decades or more; thus, it’s best to keep in mind; warranty terms being offered by the solar company;
  • Inverters and batteries may need replacing sooner, around 10 to 15 years;
  • Set aside dedicated funds for preventive maintenance, repairs, and upgrades;
  • Factor lifetime electricity savings and resale value into financial planning;
  • Consider solar-specific insurance coverage for panel damage or loss;
  • Work with reputable, established installers for top-notch equipment and support; and so on.

To Conclude

By following these tips, you'll ensure your solar investment keeps paying environmental and financial dividends for decades to come.

Making the most of your solar panels isn’t just about optimizing your own clean energy production and utility savings, as great as those are. It’s about being part of the solution to society’s global climate crisis.